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He came up behind her,
stole up slowly

and inhaled deeply,

quaffed deep and slow

her hair

redolent of flowers,

faint effluvium of the feminine--

torches lining jade palace hallways

in unfamiliar lands.

The Magic Carpet Shop on 3rd street disappoints a lot of people.

It's a small business tucked between a junk shop and a tile-and-flooring shop that gets more business than it does. The exterior is modest, and inside is little better. The front room is full of carpets rolled and folded and hanging along the walls. The selection isn't the disappointing part, in fact the carpets they have come in a wide array of colors, patterns, styles, and materials. If you want a normal carpet, then you're set.

Most people don't come for the normal carpets.

Getting to the special selection is a trial unto itself. The old man at the counter will refuse to acknowledge any other stock than what's on the floor,and will instead try to get you to buy an area rug or three. Sometimes it takes hours before he gives up, sometimes only thirty minutes. It's never less than thirty minutes.

When he finally relents, he'll sigh and show you the back room, grumbling about tourists as he unlocks the door.

The back stock room for the special selection is smaller than the front room, and there are fewer carpets. Aside from the quantity, though, it looks about the same.

"Are these the flying carpets?" most people ask.

"No," he always says. "They don't fly."

"Then how are they magic?" most people ask.

To which a carpet will helpfully say, "we talk!"

And the whole room will fill with,

Most people don't buy the talking carpets. If they do, they return them within the month.

"I tried to tell you," the clerk sometimes say. "Talking carpets aren't hard. It's getting them to shut up that's the trick."


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